They're the best in the land,
This review is from: Blackout (Audio CD)
I first heard the Dropkick Murphys on the Departed soundtrack with the song 'I'm Shipping Up To Boston'. I loved the track and downloaded it but thought nothing more. But a few months ago I decided to give the band a proper listen. Since then I have been absolutely hooked. Blackout was the second album I listened to after Sing Loud Sing Proud, and after purchasing nearly all their back catalogue, I feel no other album of theirs has come close.
I've seen some people say that, although Blackout is a strong album, it's not the album new listeners should start with. The reason being that it differs too much from the sound of debut album Do or Die. I agree that the sound is different. Do or Die and the Gangs All Here are the Murphys first two albums and they have a more raw, punkie edge. There is little Celtic influence, at least compared with later albums, although it is present on a few songs. I feel Blackout is a better starting point because it is a truer reflection of the bands current sound. The bands more diverse set of Celtic instruments is a huge part of this album. One of the reasons I have such a love for the Murphys is that they get the proportion of bagpipes and accordions, or whatever the instruments may be, just right. No instrument drowns out another and they get it to work perfectly. The best examples of this are tracks like 'Workers Song' and 'Time To Go'. You won't be able to stop yourself singing along, tapping your feet and clapping your hands. It's terribly infectious and you'll want to hear more of the band after.
For existing fans who have not heard Blackout it's typically what you expect to hear from a Dropkick Murphys album. A great mixture of original material and Irish folk songs: including 'Black Velvet Band' and 'Fields of Athenry'. The bands number one drinking song 'Kiss Me I'm S***faced' is also on this album and you'll be bellowing out it's stupidly amusing lyrics everytime you hear it. Other standouts include 'This Is Your Life', 'Buried Alive' and one of the bands heaviest tracks 'Gonna Be A Blackout Tonight'.
I really feel that this album is the pinnacle of the Dropkick Murphys fine career. Like their other albums it's full of energy, heart and is greatly accessible. Although I feel you can't really go wrong with any of their albums, Blackout really is the one you must own. Whether you're a die-hard fan or newcomer you'll be dancing, singing along and just going generally crazy to the masters of Celtic Punk. I'm so thankful I have tickets to see them next February. Essential.